I’m always a little slow with resolutions, but I believe in them, they just take time. Usually, around mid January, they solidify and there is actual resolve in my heart and mind to take action. My inspiration to follow through -- one of my great hero’s – my brother-in-law, Jade. He is the master of deciding on a plan and doing it. I watch him and see that it is possible.
Last year, I made a thoughtful and gutsy move. Only one resolution: I would not buy any new clothes for one year. This idea rose from the depths of my soul. Seriously, it did.
I was folding clothes one afternoon while the children napped. I noticed the tag on a piece of clothing: Malaysia. I don’t even know where that is. Somewhere in Asia I guess. There was one from Egypt. Then Vietnam, Taiwan, Guatemala, China, China again, Mexico, Sheri Lanka, Cambodia, India. Sixteen countries later, the load was folded. All but two of the countries were third world countries. Anger rose up within me. What was the deal? Piles of cotton clothes. Cheap cotton clothes. Where did the cotton come from? The dye? The water? The chemicals? Where was the fabric made?
Who made the clothes? A mom? A young girl? What did they eat for dinner? How did they get to work? What was work like? What did they wear? It wasn’t right. I didn’t know where my clothes came from really. I wanted to think about it. I wanted to feel it and make sense of it.
Until I knew how to deal with this anger and frustration and wonder, would not invest in any of this cotton mess. I bought an outfit to work in on January 10. After that, I stayed clean for the year. It is January 14. Still clean and still, I don’t know exactly where to go from here, but I do know that I am not the same. I don’t see clothes the same way now.
I made it through that year. I always felt like I looked decent. I even navigaed my entire pregnancy on the graces of friends discarding or sharing maternity clothes. There was the day that George said that perhaps I had worn the black sundress a little to often.
I’ve thought about the clothing industry in the last few weeks. It is massive. To massive.
Without the constraint of my resolve, I walked through Target and I’ve looked online, but I don’t want to buy anything yet. It might be some of the post pregnancy lumps that keep me from just wanting to jump out and buy a new wardrobe, but I am more thoughtful. I want to buy with purpose and with knowledge. The clothes look the same as they did a year ago. They don’t look real and thought out. They are not unique. It is like one big uniform sale.
I want to think through what goes in my closet and onto my body.
For now, I plan to visit consignment shops. I will use clothes that are getting more than one use. And, I am investing in a sewing machine – part of this year’s resolution. I can at least make a dress for Amelia right? I’d like to make a skirt for my summer wardrobe and perhaps one or two other pieces.